I woke up slowly and carefully untangled myself from the arms of my fellow concubines. I saw Brandy smile at me and tried to apologize to her. She continued to smile at me and said, "Frances I needed to be spanked. I'm truly beginning to understand what James meant about the hazards of being a sponsor. Even though I started out as a concubine I still find it easy to forget that you're people too."
I kissed Brandy softly and said, "I don't care what you think you needed. I don't feel good about having hit you so hard."
"SHHHH!" Brandy told me, "I may not have wanted you to spank me quite so hard but done is done. I'm not damaged, though I do want to know what set you off?"
"Serena was sitting on James lap trying to get him to fuck her and I had to paddle you."
"What about your story, was that setting you off at all?"
"More than maybe, do you want to review your vital statistics for the half hour before I disrupted you?"
"You're not even a little curious?" James asked sleepily.
"I want you to read your story and start work on the rest of it. What you told must have been at least ten years before I chose you to be my concubine."
"I really just want to have the AI shred it and never see it again," I told James quietly.
"AI, under no circumstances will you shred any of the personal histories that you're going to record for us all. They may be sealed, in fact I order them sealed unless they become evidence in a crime," James ordered the AI. I cringed. I was still feeling pretty much like I'd been hit pretty hard though I didn't have bruises to show for it by the little excursion I'd taken down memory lane.
I left the room then. I didn't know what to say to James. It was clear to me that he would insist on me continuing to write my personal history. I was sure that, while he loved me and showed me his love in every way he could, he would accept no demurral on my part. Before I got to the room where the replicator was so that I could start on breakfast, Serena came up and started rubbing my back. "You look sad, Frances," she said, "what's wrong?"
"James isn't going to let me stop telling my story. He may not believe it, but I feel like I'm going to die when I think about some of the things that happened to me."
"Not to make light of your pain Frances, 'cause I know it was long term, but I was raped when I was ten," Serena told me as she continued to work on my shoulders.
I felt Serena's hands trembling as she tried to continue to massage my back. I turned to see her eyes flooded with tears. "Why would you tell me something like that?" I asked.
"Because when I can talk about it or think about it without pain or terror, then the man who stole my innocence from me will no longer have power over me."
"Is that possible?"I asked.
"I don't know," Serena said as she snuggled against my body.
James came out and found us there. He said, "Frances, do you understand why both you and Brandy had to be punished?"
"So that we can avoid what we found when we came here?" I said with a shudder. The review of what Cpl Winter had done to his concubines was horrific. James had determined with everyone's agreement that the man was too insane to use in any fashion among the crew of Heinlein Station. But he also said the cause of the man's insanity had been that he was given no limits in what he could do to his concubines. They had suffered a long and painful death. We made arrangements over the objection of the AI to collect sperm from Cpl Winter and then James had executed the man. James had been adamant though, if we could not expect more people or a rotation away from Heinlein Station then every scrap of genetic diversity we could muster had to be accessed.
"Yes, everyone must obey the rules. Maybe especially those of us who have been accorded power over other people by the Confederacy." James said.
"It still bothers me to spank Brandy," I said as I leaned against James.
"Punishment is supposed to bother everyone," James said.
"What about Serena?" I asked, "She looked more like she was trying to be entertained."
"Serena has a new accessory that she is going to be wearing for a while. Didn't you notice it?" James asked.
"Serena, come here dear," James called.
"Do I have to?" Serena called from the bathroom.
"It's not like everyone won't see you while you go about your job today," James said.
A few moments later Serena came into the dining area with us. It took me a second or two to realize that something was wrong with how she looked. She had been fitted with something that hid her pussy and shielded her breasts. "What is that?" I asked, as I went up to her to give her a hug. The covers were like hard plastic.
"Chastity belts. I'm not allowed to have an orgasm for a week."
"Because I wasn't supposed to go as far as I went last night."
"So, part of what you did was James' plan?" I asked giving James a glare. Serena nodded.
"You were supposed to sit on my lap and tell Frances to be sure to spank Brandy hard enough for her to feel it. Instead you acted like a punishment session was a session where the object was sexual pleasure," James explained.
"I don't like watching people get spanked and I definitely don't like getting spanked," Serena said. "I was trying to understand what could make either situation sexy."
"Being twisted," I said without thinking.
"Not necessarily twisted, but something in your sexual make up was formed in a way that is different than normal," James said. "That is one reason I want you to continue to fill in the outline you started with. Understanding how you were hurt will help us know how to heal your wounds."
"Do I have to?" popped out of my mouth before I could think to stop my reaction to James' order.
"Yes, because if you can learn to be comfortable with yourself, you will then be able to take over as the station Civil Service Officer."
I tried to back away from James. I wanted to run. I knew I couldn't hide anywhere in Heinlein Station that the AI couldn't find me. When I ran into Sgt Staunton, I knew that I was doomed. I wanted to faint. "I can't do that. I don't want to leave your house. And there aren't enough concubines on board. There are only 5 men ... and only one is a concubine. And you have him!" I said in a panic. I turned to face Sgt Staunton.
"Those are all excuses," James told me gently. "You don't have to leave my house and Private Howard's senior concubine has a son who will be turning 14 in ten months. It would be a good idea if he were not in the same house as his mother."
"I just can't do that! I can't tell anyone what to do!" I started to weep as James wrapped me in his arms.
"AI, what is your analysis of the situation? Both Sergeant Staunton and I believe that Frances is acting as the defacto Civil Service Officer. Are we correct?" James asked.
"Frances certainly helps facilitate harmony aboard Heinlein Station," the AI said. "Her scores are well within the range of a sponsor except for aggressiveness. It is my belief that if Frances were to retake the CAP test, she might well achieve the score of a sponsor."
I wished I could guess where the cameras that the AI used were. I wanted to glare at it. Instead I said, "I will never willingly take the CAP test again. I want to stay right where I am."
"Even if I put you in charge of punishment in our household?" James asked.
"That's better than having to hold a trial like you did for Corporal Winter," I said shivering.
"Still I want you not to be having nightmares," James said.
"I don't have nightmares," I said.
"Even not considering the watch schedule, your sleep is disturbed at least three times a week by emotional turmoil," the AI said.
I growled. I really wished that I could find the core to that cybernetic monster and heat it 'til it no longer worked. I had told James that I didn't want to be a sponsor. I hated that we were always watched, and I hated that we were so few. "Does that thing make up problems for me?" I asked.
"No," the AI said. It almost managed to sound affronted.
"Will you restrict your watching in private spaces?" I asked, glaring at a wall.
"Unless a crime is being committed, recordings of private spaces, defined to be, bedrooms, bathrooms and children's play areas, will be sealed," the AI said, grudgingly.
"I guess that means I have to work some more on writing about things that make me uncomfortable," I told James as I wriggled to get free from the clinch he and Sgt Staunton had me in. They let me go reluctantly. In order to get my thoughts together, I ordered myself a small breakfast from the replicator. "What would you like to eat?" I asked them.
"We can order for ourselves," James said.
"I'd tell you to go eat elsewhere but I don't expect that you'll listen to me anymore than you do about me not wanting to write about my childhood," I said as a sat and watched James and Sgt Staunton as they ordered up a breakfast.
.... There is more of this story ...